Positive. Grounded. Personal.
At Otterburn, we believe design shouldn’t be a luxury expense or afterthought for your business. Good design isn’t about just bells and whistles. It should be part of the big picture of your business.
We exist to provide businesses the ability to make the leap from good to great. Our work with brands, both large and small, is praised for technical expertise, creative talents, and accelerating growth.
Design is much more than a pretty logo or flashy website. It’s an integral part of your business’ process and success. Thoughtful and efficient design helps steer your business more confidently while giving it a stronger foundation to be visible and stand out in your market.
We are here to elevate your business with our meticulous attention to detail in creating design that is both beautiful and efficient.
Jason brings 20 years experience in graphic design in printing and web design. He has honed his craft and expertise working with design agencies, publishing companies, and in printing and packaging industries.
His philosophy is that graphic design is about solving problems in a creative way. To him, good design and branding conveys beautifully and efficiently what it is here to do. For Jason, design that works is a mix of beauty, engineering and practical application.
His approach to design is to gain a big picture of the project at hand, in order to anticipate unseen issues. Understanding what the client is trying to achieve, helps Jason create design that marries beauty and effective solutions.
Vanessa’s experience is from many years in the corporate world and the personal development/coaching fields. Her role in Otterburn is in guiding and connecting with clients throughout the creative process.
Informing her approach to business and branding is her background in advertising and expertise in symbols and archetypes. For her a powerful brand is one that is aligned with its core archetypes – the key symbols and story elements of the business. She helps the clients gain an understanding of what are their brand archetypes.
She also brings the psychological aspect to the creative process and understanding of business. Vanessa believes that there’s a deep psychology inherent in the relationship between the business and its owner.
The Full Story.
Vanessa and Jason met each other at Seattle’s iconic Space Needle. They were set up by a friend in common on a blind date. Their arranged date took place during an awards night for the printing and packing industry, where Jason walked away with ten awards for his work. The eleventh award was meeting Vanessa.
From the early days of their relationship, Vanessa and Jason already talked about setting up a business together. They weren’t sure what sort of business, but they knew that they had good creative synergy, and one business idea was bound to come.
After they got married in the Fall of 2017, they decided to forge ahead and create Otterburn & Co. Having launched their individual businesses a few years before, they realized that they should join their skills and talents to help other entrepreneurs in creating stand-out business brands.
Jason’s experience in design harks back to the days when he, as a rave DJ, created the flyers for several events in Seattle. Although furthering his career as a musician wasn’t in the cards, graphic design took up his creative focus and became not just a career, but a passion. He graduated top of class from the Art Institute of Seattle.
Vanessa’s experience has been more circuitous. Her undergraduate degree is in Advertising and Communication. She’s always been fascinated with how businesses develop and showcase their brands through their story and good design.
Her other graduate degrees are in teaching and counseling psychology. She’s deeply passionate about how the psychology behind a business and the development of the brand archetypes and its story are weaved.
For her, the entrepreneurial is a personal and heroic journey, because each business is the brainchild of our creative selves. She understands that behind each business and design decision there are many factors that aren’t just financial, but most often it’s about a mindset that either hinders or helps a business succeed.
Jason and Vanessa live in Portland, Oregon with their two communicative cats. When not working, Jason enjoys online gaming, learning about astronomy, and dabbles with turntables and vast vinyl collection from his rave DJ days. Vanessa can be found fine line drawing, reading, and writing.
Behind the Otterburn Name.
Both Jason and Vanessa are very interested in history, and years ago they did their ancestral DNA tests. Jason already knew that some of his ancestors had come from England, and that his last name most likely had come from the north of England.
Then in 2015, Jason and Vanessa traveled all over the UK, visiting friends and seeing the sights. It was at Bamburgh Castle in Northumbria that the mystery of the Storey last name was solved.
Looking through books at the gift shop, Vanessa found a map with all the family names of the notorious Border Reivers. The famed Border Reivers were cattle raiders along the England-Scotland border from the late 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. During those centuries the northern border between England and Scotland was very similar to the Wild West of the 1800’s.
Right there on that book map, the name Storey was revealed as one of the many clans known as Border Reivers. According to the map, the Storey clan concentrated mainly in the small town of Otterburn in central Northumberland. The history of the Border Reivers reveals a people who were complex and multi-layered. By some they were only raiders of cattle, for others they were local heroes surviving in a complicated historical period through grit, ingenuity and courage.
For us the name Otterburn has come to mean for us a relationship to place of origin and its multilayered history. We wanted to give our business a name that had a touch of ancestry, a relationship to place and history, because we believe that each business brand carries with it the DNA and history of its creators.